Heading to Marina Bay, a high downforce circuit, Lewis Hamilton hopes he’s “right” in predicting the Singapore GP weekend will be a better one for Mercedes than Monza was.
Although Hamilton and his teammate George Russell scored points at the Italian Grand Prix, sixth and fifth respectively, their W14 didn’t have the pace to challenge for a top-three showing.
While Red Bull clinched the 1-2, Ferrari put new engines and a Monza-spec wing on the SF-23 with Carlos Sainz completing the podium and Charles Leclerc P4.
Can Mercedes bounce back in Singapore?
Russell was more than 10 seconds behind the second Ferrari while Hamilton was a further 20s back on a Sunday in which Mercedes never once looked capable of challenging for the big points.
Hamilton called it one of the “worst” races with his Mercedes W14 living up to its unwanted reputation for not doing well at low downforce circuits.
The car, though, likes high downforce tracks and that’s precisely what the next venue, the Marina Bay circuit, is all about.
“I feel like this [Monza] might be the worst one for us,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.
“Singapore is all high downforce and, when we put our high downforce wing on, we generally are a little bit better. Not as bad as here. I hope I’m right.”
His team boss Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton’s sentiments that Singapore should be a better venue for Mercedes.
Beaten at Monza by the cars that “generally this season more competitive on how low downforce”, Wolff added: “Let’s see if how it swings around, whether we can outperform them in Singapore.”
Russell is also predicting a “different story” at the Marina Bay circuit after Ferrari took a “small step” forward at Monza with even McLaren “further ahead than we would have thought”.
The Briton added: “I suspect will be more competitive, especially in the race, than we were this weekend.
“We need to understand why we have such a delta between our higher and lower downforce package.
“We always seem to struggle at circuits like Spa, Monza, Baku, Austria, even on the medium/low downforce setting, and we always seem to be quick on the higher side.”
Although Mercedes recorded four wins at the Marina Bay circuit in the last seven editions of the grand prix, last season they struggled with Hamilton ninth while Russell was the last driver to cross the line down in 14th place.